Sheet Music: Wayfaring Stranger

TitleWayfaring Stranger
Alternate titlesI Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger
InstrumentationFlute duet
KeyD minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo92 BPM
Performance time0:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (48 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (352 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (385 kB)
Date added2010-01-28
Last updated2010-01-28
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.9 (average)
Spirituals, Traditional/Folk


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Thursday 28 January 2010

Tune of the Day: Wayfaring Stranger

Traditional folk song

There are many and varied opinions about the origins of this traditional song. Some of the proposed origins are Appalachian folk, old Irish folk, and Catskills folk. One theory is that it originates from the Negro Spirituals, and there was a deliberate concealment of the song's origins. Clearly the song is of a spiritual nature, as the “Wayfaring Stranger” sings of the hardships of his temporal life passing by and refers to his journeying on to a better place.

This song has been recorded countless times, but in the 1940s it became strongly associated with American folk singer Burl Ives, who made it one of his signature songs. Ives even used it as the title of his CBS radio show and his autobiography. For these reasons, Ives is sometimes referred to as “The Wayfaring Stranger”.